Oh, for the Love of Kale

Not everyone loves kale. I know this because there are memes everywhere making fun of it. ‘She probably loves kale,’ is not a compliment. But I started growing it in my garden at least ten years ago and the sheer volume of our harvest made me feel like a winner. I try to eat it every second day from November to April. It’s my talisman, like the posies people in the 14th century carried in hopes of warding off the plague. 

With its deep green color and magical elixir of anti-oxidants, I tend to view as a kind of body armor. If I’ve encouraged you to try it, remember to massage it well before cooking. I also whisper sweet nothings when placing it in the pan, believing it adds to the tenderizing process. (This step is optional.) I like it with eggs, alongside pizza and chicken, and occasionally, by itself. Sauté gently in some olive oil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Yum!’

There’s a downside to being a kale eater. The reason I don’t order it in a restaurant, (not that it’s a hot commodity in most places) is it sticks to my teeth. After a meal, I look like a zombie who’s fed off the Jolly Green Giant. 

The person who never had this problem was my husband, Clarence. In spite of occasionally wearing clothes that gave him a not homeless, just exploring the look, vibe, the man was a dainty eater. I am not. It’s gotten worse since I started living alone. Not that I eat with my fingers or anything (I totally do…I love eating with my fingers) but I’ve always been a lot messier than him. 

Sometimes he’d look at me halfway through dinner and say, ‘would you like a facecloth?’

‘No, I’m good!’ I’d reply cheerfully, spaghetti sauce coating my cheeks. I’ve turned into my dad. “Bill,” my mom would bark. “Wipe your chin!” She believed the rough whiskers on his face made it hard for him to feel. But I take after dad, and I think my face must be numb most of the time. 

This is why I don’t enjoy eating out. I’m a very poky eater, and I have to go reeeeeeaaaaaallllly slow if I’m not going to look like I dumped my plate down my shirt. It’s not that I’m a slob. I’m just clumsy. Which is also why I break a lot of glassware. 

Anyway, back to kale. I love it. I will always eat it. Just don’t ask me to use a fork unless I’m at your house.  

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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